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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12199
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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, i am in the middle of a separation with my wife of 3

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Hello, i am in the middle of a separation with my wife of 3 years. I live in Scotland. I need some advice on splitting assets.
We were originally very amicable however this week she has informed me that she is seeking legal advice and has an appointment to see a lawyer at her work.
So I feel I need some advice myself but not able to afford to see a lawyer and hoping you may be able to advise me on my legal rights.
Background info which may or may not be relevant
We first got together around 14 years ago. We split up after around 3 years for around 11 months and since then have been together fairly happily, 3 years ago we got married.
After a couple of years together my wife purchased a house (sole owner). This was sold a few years later after we realised we were having our first child. The equity on the sale of this property £40,000 was used to purchase our family home together. (wife sole owner).
We were currently living in London when we bought the house in Edinburgh and moved up after 6 months. After the initial 2 year mortgage was finished I was then put on to the mortgage as joint owner. However since we originally bought this house however I have worked full time
and my wife has worked part time. We have lived here for 8 ½ years. All our money has gone into a joint account including my yearly bonuses (for last 7 years) which are between £2000 and £3500. This has gone into the house and family. 4 years ago we had our 2nd child. Recently her Mother
gave us £12000 for home improvements which we completed just before Christmas.
Just after New Year we separated. It’s been amicable for the last couple of months however recently it’s starting to breakdown and she is now seeking legal advice. Hence my query/ question on here.
She is currently living with the kids I see them as much as I can. Weekends holidays. They are currently staying in the home at the moment I am staying at my brothers. I am paying maintenance and have agreed to give them a little more until I find permanent accommodation.
So I need to clarify what legally I would be entitled to if she was to buy me out of the house. We had the property valued around a year ago which was also before the home improvements at £145,000, there is currently £88,000 left on the mortgage so equity using the slighty out of date figures would be £57,000.
She is trying to tell me that as she has put down the deposit form teh sale of her 1st house legally I’m not entitled to the first £40,000 of the equity and, also because her mother gave us, (now changed to loaned us) £12000 that needs to be deducted so that leaves £57000-£40000-£12000=£5000. Half of £5k would be £2.5k
Is this correct? After being together for 14 year I walk away for a couple of thousand? On top of this she is wanting to know how much my pension is worth and has said she is entitled to half of it. Could you please clarify what she is entitled to here also?
Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland experienced in family law.
You wife seems to want everything her own way. In Scotland that won't happen. There is a presumption that matrimonial assets are to be shared equally. The family home especially is treated that way. In the past parties have argued that contributions from previous houses should be deducted in their favour. That argument was originally given its place by the courts but now, particularly with the family home, that argument won't succeed. Nor will her argument that the gift to both of you from her mother was in fact a loan. If there is no loan agreement and there has been no demand for repayment so far it's unlikely that her position on that will succeed. There is a legal presumption that the money was a loan until proven otherwise but in this type of situation it isn't hard to establish that payment of a sum of money from a close family member which was spent on the marital home without any repayments being asked for is more likely to be a gift than a loan. .
She could have argued that the house was in her name before you married and as such isn't matrimonial property at all. However that argument will also fail as she put the house. Into joint names and you have been party to the mortgage and other costs.
As regards ***** ***** accrued during the marriage, these would also fall to be divided equally.
The Cash Equivalent Transfer Value of your pension, ie, the value of your were to transfer it to another scheme, for the period of your marriage falls to be divided equally between the two of you, often by way of a pension sharing order or qualifying agreement.
Nothing in your narrative would lead me to advise that there should be anything other than an equal sharing of assets and liabilities with the parent with full time care of the children receiving child support in the usual way.
I hope this helps.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. So for the pension - would she only be entitled to half of it for the time we were married? 3 years? or could she claim for more than that?

If it came down to having to selling the house how easy is it to force a sale?

It's the value of the pension from the date of marriage to date of separation. The exact formula is contained in a piece of legislation.
As regards ***** ***** either party can apply to the court for a sale as part of the divorce action.
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